Notice the title is not 5 questions to ask to avoid a fight? That’s because in a marriage, or any intimate relationship, there are bound to be differences and arguments. It’s almost inevitable and sometimes can even be healthy when done respectfully and with good intentions. However, as Muslims, we know shaytan has a vested interested in destroying the Muslim marriage, and he just absolutely thrives off quarrels between spouses. We know he’s an instigator, but that doesn’t give us the excuse to wash our hands off. It’s time we own up to our duties in extinguishing the fires in our home.
Excessive argumentations and disputes are disliked in Islam because of the enmity it creates between people. The Prophet said: “The most hated person in the sight of Allaah is the most quarrelsome one” [Al-Bukhaari]. We know that it’s very difficult to avoid speaking our mind sometimes, but thankfully Allaah has attached a huge reward to encourage us to avoid arguing. The Prophet said, “I guarantee a palace on the outskirts of Paradise for a man [woman] who avoids quarrelling even if he is right.” [Abu Daawood, Al-Albaani – Hasan] So even when you are right, and justified, you are better off remaining quiet. You do want a palace don’t you?
Now, your husband is no ordinary “other”. And just as shaytan is actively trying to disrupt the love and harmony between you two, you should actively be working to maintain and strengthen this miraculous bond that Allaah blessed you with. I say ‘miraculous’ because Allaah refers to the mercy and affection found in marriage as one of His great signs. So more effort is needed on our part to maintain the bliss in our marriage.
Of course both husband and wife are responsible in keeping the peace, but this blog is for you! Besides, we can only control our actions. We may not achieve perfection, but if you want happiness and marital bliss, start looking for solutions from your end. We’re emotional creatures; half the time it was a dispute imagined. Raise your hand if you’ve ever played out an entire argument in your mind without it ever happening!? I would love to say, I’m never going to argue with my husband again, but that would be as successful as my no sugar diets… i.e. a non-success. However, what I will promise is this:
I will be more conscience of my role in the argument and ask questions that will bring us out of the argument stronger in love and respect!
The next time you find yourself upset with your significant other, stop and ask yourself the following questions:
1. What do I know about my husband that would explain his behaviour?
The idea here is to take “me” out of the equation. Fights usually happen because we take what our husbands do, or don’t do, or say, or don’t say too personally. We’re thinking:
“If he really cared about me, he would have…”
“If he respected me, he wouldn’t have…”
“He knows I don’t like this, so why…”
“I do, so why doesn’t he”
Take yourself out of the scenario for a moment, because surely your husband doesn’t have a personal vendetta against you, and ask yourself what other factors are contributing to his behaviour. Tiredness? A bad day? Too consumed in an activity to focus on anything else? Forgetfulness? Lack of knowledge/awareness?
You’d be amazed at how objective your view can be once you step out the frame an analyze the situation better.
2. Could I have handled it differently?
Asking this question does not in anyway assume that all blame rests with you. But it’s important to see how our actions may have contributed to the fight. Was there something you did or didn’t do, that if you were to change would help avoid the argument or at least minimize it? I grew up with four brothers, and I’m now learning through marriage that the tactics with my brothers can’t be used with my husband. For example, having the last word isn’t exactly the best way to avoid a dispute. “Shutting it down” just isn’t impressive!
The better thing to do, and of higher character standards, is to evaluate your words and actions from your husband’s point of view. Did you offend or insult him? Could your actions have been interpreted negatively? Did you overreact? Did you ‘under-react’ to a genuine concern of his? Again, assessing the situation from his end doesn’t convict you as the guilty party. It is just a another step towards strengthening mutual love and respect. Plus, you weren’t trying to “win” the fight anyway, were you!!!??
3. Given the current situation, with all things constant, what can I offer?
It’s possible that the changes you hope for may not materialize soon. Or both of you feel you are right. So with the current situation, without your husband changing anything, what could you do to help bring about positive results? For example, lets say you’re upset over your husband’s busy schedule because he isn’t spending as much time with you and the kids as you would like. Or it could be that you are too busy. What could you do differently that works within his current schedule? Maybe you can make the most of the times you are together by ensuring you’re free to enjoy each others company, even if its a short period. Set conditions like no work, social media, phone, tv, etc. during that time. And try not to use those precious moments to argue. It may not be the ideal solution, but you can’t deny its effort!
4. What is the underlying issue?
Fights are often a manifestation of something that was brewing for awhile and left unattended until finally it explodes. Yes, many times we engage in petty arguments, but when a real fight happens, where feelings are hurts, this is the time to ask “What is the root cause?”. Have rights been violated? Has one party been falling short in their duties? Was there any negligence in a certain area of the marriage that needs to be addressed. Seek to tackle those issues before exerting all your energy in the script of this fight. Some people say, forget the past. But I say, if the past impacts the future, build a time machine. This isn’t to dig up proof to vindicate your husband, but to see what could have been done differently to avoid what happened today. And be sincere! None of us are perfect, and as woman, we can’t be oblivious to our universal shortcomings!
5. Does this one thing cloud or negate all his other good qualities?
Does he really always do that? or Never do this? Exaggeration is a form of lying so let’s put whatever happened in perspective. Ok, there are definitely situations where one particular action could have a significant impact on the wellbeing of the marriage, and counselling should be sought. But for the majority of arguments, if a bystander was listening in on the conversation, would they get a fair assessment of your husband? Try to remember and appreciate your husband’s good qualities, not only in times of calm, but more importantly during the storm!
It was said by one of our great predecessors, “The best wife is the one who knows how to create harmony in her marriage and strikes a balance between obeying and respecting her husband and expressing her own strong personality.”
That’s you! The wise empowered woman who uses her strong character to build harmonious environments!
Share your thoughts!